What’s the point of having a blog if you can’t have a good old fashioned ill informed rant about the frustrations of daily life? Don’t answer that. There are a number. I won’t let them deter me.
Is there anything that makes modern Homo sapiens angrier than driving? Don’t answer that either. There are countless worthier reasons for rage.
Still, I must let off some steam on the subject of one of Belfast’s major intersections, the new Broadway Roundabout.
I live a few minutes walk from this leviathan of tarmacadam, which was only fully opened earlier this year, after many months of traffic chaos.
Am I happy now that it’s operating?
The roundabout, purportedly fully functioning, works less efficiently than it did whenever it was festooned with cones and pock-marked with temporary traffic lights.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful piece of road design – at 9am on a Sunday morning. Without any traffic you’ll whiz unto the West Link with barely a delay. However, if you’re impressed, come back at the same time the next day!
The problem is that if its planners had sat down to devise a system in order to actively CAUSE gridlock, their blueprints could not have realised that end better than Broadway on a weekday morning.
The roundabout is split into bite sized chunks, just large enough so that each, when occupied by six cars, cannot be accessed by any more. On a typical morning they all fill up, the lights turn green and no-one can drive ANYWHERE, in ANY of the sections, because they are all full.
You’ll sit for five, six, seven changes of the lights before it’s possible to move.
I live five minutes WALK from the roundabout and it takes me between 25 – 45 minutes to access it, by car, every morning. Then I have to get to the other side.
Of course this is all part of the same masterplan which produced the West Link underpass. Yes. The one that filled up with water the first time a summer shower struck, after it was opened!
What do I want done about it? I don’t know.
Do I feel better after ranting about it? Not really.